Re: Sugano Sensei on Ukemi
As a kid I started off in Judo and the last thing anyone wanted to do was ukemi as it meant losing. Of course, we practiced on soft mats etc. but the thought was it was always for our protection. Nothing else. I liked Aikido right from the beginning and had no problem with the stylized ukemi though I have long seen it as just that. It takes a long time to get beyond that in Aikido. So, of course, done well, ukemi has real meaning in Aikido. I am however a little uneasy about the new wave of teaching super-stylized ukemi that is just ukemi for ukemi's sake. I too like to look good, but my Judo experience grants me a suspicious eye. At least when I'm doing stylized stuff, I am aware that it is so. I suspect that many are not. I can't really see the point in spending hours learning how to fall when in reality, it just happens anyway if tori throws you properly. For me , learning how to throw remains more important. But to be fair, most of those I see doing fantastic ukemi are usually pretty good toris too - the enigma of Aikido!